Let's talk artillery....
With the silver wave heading in, I'm curious what types of gear configurations people are using out there...
If it were up to me I guess I'd separate the fishery into:
a) saltchuck / boat
b) saltchuck / shore
c) estuary / boat
d) estuary / shore
e) river mouth
(where upriver fisheries qualify for salmon in rivers)
For me, saltchuck boat fishing (not including bucktailing) was typically done using either an intermediate or a sinking line in the 9wt class. Early season would be fine with a 7wt, 8wt is good all around, but fall hooknoses warrant 9wt gear IMHO. I think the sinking line has the advantage of penetrating the currents deeper when fishing rips, and also for throwing heavier or bulky flies.
Salter shore fishing would probably need to emphasize distance and a degree of stoutness for beaching fish in waves. I would tend to reduce the size of the fly and tone down to an 8wt.
Have stripping baskets caught on yet? The whole concept of coastal FF was in it's infancy when I moved away from the PNW.
Estuaries include areas of Hood Canal, Puget Sound inlets, and bay areas associated with river mouths or channeling constrictions. Although most of these areas are popular on foot for flyfishing, I would imagine that the use of small boats would permit drift coverage with the motor cut and casting toward shore structures as opposed to away from. I recall driving past quiet areas near Bremerton or the south sound and seeing a silver rocket out of the water, also the likelihood of searun cutts in the mix would probably tempt the angler to stay with lighter gear and smaller flies. Essentially the concerns of flotsam, bigtime currents and attraction in bluewater are not of much concern, thus I would imagine an influence on the gear accordingly.
River mouth fishing is an art that guys like Eric Bigler have experience with. Knowledge of tides, channel and hold water structures, and presentation techniques play a big part as the fish are influenced by their migratory behavior as opposed to the wanton feeding frenzies of the open seas.
Once in the river itself, summer steelhead gear and even nymphing techniques (Begineer hole, Kalama) are the venue.
I am curious - what have those who fish the saltchuck found out, and what experimentation do you plan for this fall?
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